How does a dependency proceeding start?
Anyone who has knowledge of a child being or at risk of being abused, abandoned or neglected can initiate a dependency proceeding. Usually, a report is made to the Department of Children & Families (DCF) or law enforcement to start this kind of proceeding. DCF will investigate the allegations and make a decision on whether to provide services to stabilize the family so the child can remain in the home or remove the child and order services for the child and family. Although DCF files the majority of dependency actions, anyone can file a dependency petition.